Ab Tip #9

Wow, tip 9 already! I am shocked I've had the discipline to actually follow through on doing these (I wasn't sure I'd stick to my word because they take a ton of time).

Ab tip 9 is actually about this exact topic....the discipline, the will, the resilience, the dedication it takes to building abs. 

Abs do not happen over night. In fact, getting your dream abs could take years. Years of disciplined eating (less sugar, less over eating) and diligence to working out and working out hard. 

Personal experience:

I've had many say... oh your abs are just genetic, but truth be told, (And my siblings can speak to this) I've worked very hard at my abs for many, many years! I've been a diligent ab doer for over16 years. My little siblings would sometimes come up the stairs to my lofted bedroom, sneak around the corner, and video tape me singing and doing planks, crunches, sit-ups to 50 cent and Britney Spears.  

In High School I did abs nearly EVERY night before bed. As a track athlete and cross country runner, our coaches had us do abs daily, so in the off season I kept it going. Abs became as normal as washing my face before bed. Granted genetics does come into play a bit, I've been putting in the discipline for a long time. Remember, hard work always pays off, so never give up. And never let the discouragement of slipping up prevent you from starting over again. 

If you've always desired to have a flat tummy or a stomach with abs, I truly believe you can and will achieve it. Just put into play the information from these tips and you will see results. Be patient with yourself and celebrate every victory and positive change you see and experience along the way. Life is all about processes. In a world where many things have become on demand and instantaneous, the most rewarding things still and will always, take time and effort.

Anyways... on with the topic of discipline over the long-term in achieving your goals!

How long does it take to Develop ab muscles?

In regards to developing muscle (generally speaking), it takes about 8-12 weeks of training several times a week to begin to notice slight changes in a particular muscle. It takes about 6-12 months to actually make a lasting difference on the long-term development of that muscle. To reach a point of definition and strength that you may have set as a goal, it can often be upwards of 2-5 years of diligent training to reach that physique. 

Cheesy quote, but for bodybuilders this rings true, "Empires are not made overnight". Seeing changes in your body works the same way. 

How low does body fat need to be for a 6 pack?

If you want to try to get to a low enough body fat level to potentially reveal a six-pack, consider where you're starting at. The average man has a body fat of 28%, and average woman has 40%.

Even if you're at a healthy 11-22% body fat for a man or 17-28% percent as a woman, it'll take some time to get lean enough for your abs to pop. For a male 6-9% body fat is where abs will be the most noticeable and for females it is 10-16%. (Keep in mind everyone's genetics are different, some females could have a six pack at 17% body fat and others might need to be 10%)

How long does it take to get body fat low enough? 

The American Council on Exercise says, if you follow a healthy diet and workout routine, you can expect to lose 1% of body fat a month, at a healthy rate. At this pace, someone could achieve 6-pack abs anywhere from 2-24 months, depending on your current body fat level.



10 tips to become MORE disciplined:

1. Know your weaknesses and remove temptations. Clean out your pantry. If you lose motivation to go to the gym after work, head straight there from the office. Don't go home first. 

2. Write daily "To Do" lists and cross items off as you accomplish them (nice dopamine hit). Even plan your menu/healthy meals for the week.

Example: (Encourage you to include daily, mundane items, it will boost confidence to "accomplish things"

  • 6:30-7:30 Shower & BFast
  • 7:30-8:00 Commute to work (listen to a devotional, pray and worship)
  • 8-5:30 Work
  • 6:00-7:00 Workout (Lift for 40minutes, run for 15 and do 5minutes of abs)
  • 7:30-8:00 Dinner
  • 8:00-9:30 Pursue a hobby or study 
  • 9:30-10:30 Unwind, read & journal
  • 10:30 Lights out

3. Start small -i.e. aim to do abs 3x a week for 2min and slowly remove sugar from diet. Once you've conquered that then get more complex/advanced.

4. Forgive yourself quickly when you slip up. Get over it and move on. DO not sulk. 

5. Limit your screen time. Don't spend too much time on TV or social media. It wastes away life with information that tends to be meaningless for you in the long run. AND you can get caught in the comparison game and end up feeling bad about yourself and your progress. 

6. Be specific. If there is an area you want more discipline in, write exactly what your end goal is. Then write out actionable steps on a timeline.

7. Keep an open mind, but do what WORKS for you. Don't plan changes for yourself that someone else gave you. Think of who you are, how you think and operate and how to best cater your changes for YOU. i.e.- if you're a night owl and someone tells you to begin doing 4am workouts, it might not be best for you. Give it a try, maybe you will LOVE it, but if not, don't feel like your 9pm workouts are bad. 

8. Change your stinkin' thinkin'. Begin to speak differently to yourself. It works. Tell yourself you are disciplined. You are focused. You don't give up. If people in your life or past have said otherwise, tell those thoughts in your head to shut up. Align with the truth of who you are in process of becoming, not the past of who you once were. If you want a good book to read, "Change Your Words, Change Your Life" by Joyce Meyer is POWERFUL. 

9. Give it time. Self-discipline takes time. Patience butterfly.

10. Reward yourself. Have a reward system! Each week allow a glass of wine or have a rest day or a movie night. Set a reward that you actually care about for hitting certain metrics you've set for yourself.

11. Have fun with it. Do not take life too seriously! Have a few friends you are aiming for similar goals with and hold each other accountable! GO to workout classes together or food prep together.